Abstract

There has been much recent work in developing advanced optical metrology methods that use imaging optics for critical dimension measurements and defect detection. Sensitivity to nanometer-scale changes has been observed when measuring critical dimensions of subwavelength 20 nm features or when imaging defects below 15 nm using angle-resolved and focus-resolved optical data. However, these methods inherently involve complex imaging optics and analysis of complicated three-dimensional electromagnetic fields. This paper develops a new approach to enable the rigorous analysis of three-dimensional, through-focus, or angle-resolved optical images. We use rigorous electromagnetic simulation with enhanced Fourier optical techniques, an approach to optical tool normalization, and statistical methods to evaluate sensitivities and uncertainties in the measurement of subwavelength three-dimensional structures.

© 2013 Optical Society of America

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